Welcome to Zhejiang Zhongneng Industry Group Co Ltd or “ZNen”. They make (or have made) scooters for many different importers, including the new “Lambretta” sold in Italy, Baron, FlyScooter, ZN, possibly Roketa, TNG, and Peirspeed, and plenty more (it’s hard to tell without looking at the VIN, and even then, it’s confusing). Some of these brands are better than others, and often the dealer and importer you buy from has as much to do with your experience as the manufacturer. The Chinese are plenty capable of making good scooters, it comes down to the ethical and financial choices made by the manufacturer, importer, and their dealers.
At Dealer Expo2008, a ZNen rep spent a half hour trying to convince me to import their scooters. I finally cut her off and asked “don’t you already have many importers here? She said “sure, but you can make more money if you import directly.” I said I wasn’t interested in importing (I didn’t bother telling her I’m not a dealer, either). Only then did she reluctantly staple a Lance Motorsports business card to my brochure.
I talked to a couple other booths selling scooter manufactured by ZNen. When I asked “Aren’t these the ZNen models they’re selling at their booth?,” most admitted they were pretty angry that ZNen had bought a huge booth to try to sell scooters directly to the same customers they were targeting. Then they went on to explain that their quality control and dealer support was better than all the other ZN importers’. Lance didn’t have a booth, and probably were under the impression that ZNen was giving dealers their information, which was hardly the case.
You can’t tell much about ethics or quality from a video. Even if you think this video does prove something, it still leaves 20 importers to choose from. I’ve never ridden a Lance scooter, but there’s plenty of evidence on the internet that they’re not great: Many complaints about quality and service, Many dealers sell them online, they’re indistinguishable from some other brands that friends have had negative experiences with, no experienced dealers that I know and respect sell them, and ZNen’s ethics are questionable, as noted above. Are Lance Scooters OK? I don’t know, but this video tells me nothing.